Lifeguards on the alert in major incidents at Porthtowan and Mawgan Porth
RNLI lifeguards responded to two major incidents at Porthtowan and Mawgan Porth during the busy bank holiday weekend.
On Saturday five swimmers and two bodyboarders were swept off a sandbank and into deep water by a surging swell at Porthtowan.
RNLI lifeguards Matt Trewhella, Kian Harris and Matt Bannister went in with rescue boards and a tube and were able to get the swimmers and bodyboarders back to shore safely.
Matt Bannister used a rescue tube to rescue three swimmers who were all going under the water. He wrapped the tube around one swimmer and got the other two to hold onto the float while he swam them in.
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Drustan Ward, RNLI lifeguard supervisor said: “The RNLI lifeguards did a great job to bring all the casualties in extremely quickly - they were very grateful and one thanked them for saving his life. We had quite good-sized surf but with the onshore wind and flooding tide, conditions weren’t great. The RNLI lifeguards at neighbouring Chapel Porth had dealt with a very similar incident only an hour before.”
On Monday, RNLI lifeguard supervisor John Steadman and Jack Daniels saved three people at Mawgan Porth, two swimmers were in serious difficulty and completely exhausted when the lifeguards plucked them out of the water.
John says: “Monday was so busy, we had about 1,000 people on the beach and another 500 in the water. Conditions weren’t ideal, we had a good four-foot, solid swell, but at low tide it was really dumping on the banks and we launched the IRB to patrol the bathing area around lunchtime.
“Jack spotted the guy right in the middle of the bathing area waving his arm for help. He was in a small group which had been caught in a slight rip current and quickly taken them out of their depth - the waves were really crashing down on them.’
John manoeuvred the IRB though the crowded bathing area to reach the man who was trapped in the impact zone, just where the waves were breaking. John had the difficult task of negotiating the breaking waves and avoiding other bathers, while Jack had to quickly grab hold of the man and pull him into the IRB.
John said: ‘He was absolutely exhausted and in a state of shock, he had really thought he wasn’t going to make it.
“As we reached the beach, we spotted another couple of people waving for help. We made our way back though the surf to pick up a mother and her daughter. The daughter was bodyboarding and the mother was swimming - they were both very frightened and exhausted. It was just a case of quickly grabbing them and getting them back to shore as safely as possible.”
The mother was treated for secondary drowning and the first man was taken up to the lifeguard unit where he was met by paramedics who took over casualty care.